The Formula E Championship once again travels to South America for its stop in Mexico. On 01st April, the country’s capital, Mexico City, will stage the fourth round of the 2016 / 2017 season and the Venturi GP Formula E team is looking forward to the challenge. The ‘Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez’, located in the heart of the city, is a tradition-rich motor-racing venue. The Venturi-GP drivers, Stephane Sarrazin and Maro Engel, will race with a modified gearbox.
Technical changes during the season are penalised in Formula E and so, both Sarrazin and Engel will receive 10-position grid penalties, following the qualifying session. The revised gearbox should increase our reliability compared to the previous races, said Venturi GP team owner Gildo Pallanca Pastor. The 10-position grid penalty is hard to swallow, added Sarrazin who is confident nevertheless: We coped with situations like this in the past and we also will succeed in doing so in Mexico.
The circuit in Mexico City is iconic. It was opened in 1959 and was the venue of the Mexican Formula One GP from 1963 to 1970, from 1986 to 1992 as well as in 2015 and 2016. Among the winners of the race were the likes of Jim Clark and Graham Hill or Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Formula E made its debut at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez that features a 1.6-kilometre speedway. Formula E, however, uses a 2.1-kilometre version including the infield.
I’m looking forward to the forthcoming race weekend, said Engel. The Mexicans are regarded as extremely enthusiastic and so, a great atmosphere is virtually guaranteed. The break since round three held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 18th February was used in a productive way by both team and drivers. We used the opportunity to adapt even better to the car, revealed Engel. I think that our general level of performance will give us good chances of gaining the ground in the race we will lose due to our grid penalty. We want to make it to the points.
Due to a scheduling conflict with the official pre-season tests of the World Endurance Championship, WEC, quite a number of Formula E drivers, inter alia Stephane Sarrazin, will arrive in Mexico delayed.
Therefore, Tom Dillmann will contest the so-called shakedown a first practice session on Friday evening. The Frenchman is the reigning Formula V8 3.5 Champion and Venturi GP’s reserve driver in Mexico. We are happy that Tom will help us out in the shakedown, admitted Marc Gindorf, co-owner of Venturi GP. He has got a lot of single-seater racing experience and will provide us with a lot of important data, with Stephane being absent.